70 Link’s Matchstick Wand (Part 1)


 The Syndicate had covered their tracks well. Even after three days of thorough searching by General Anderson and the militia, their lair had still not been smoked out yet. There was nothing Link could do about it, so he decided to just wait patiently.

As for Princess Annie, she was ordered to report to the king in Springs City, so on the second day, she reluctantly left River Cove town. With no one left to disturb him, Link could finally dive back into his studies peacefully.

He was no longer staying in the inn attic but was staying in the cabin that the Flamingo Band of Mercenaries had bought instead. There were people tending to his needs here and the food that the cook that they hired at a high price had prepared was delicious too. Most importantly, no one would disturb him here while he studied, so he settled down in the cabin contentedly.

Within three days, Link had finished reading three books on enchantment. From these books, he had developed a deep understanding on the subject. The opening of the book Introduction to Magic enchantments had very neatly encapsulated the concept of enchantment in a single sentence.

enchantment is the process of fixing spells onto a certain object.

Theoretically speaking, as long as the proper method was employed, any spell could be fixed onto an object, including Fireball, Protective Armor, Flying Blades, Hidden Power, and so on. The method and skills involved in fixing these spells fell under the field of enchantments.

Take the wand for example. The wand was, in fact, an object where Mana could be stably fixed on. According to folklore 500 years ago, Magicians used to cast spells without using wands. Therefore, there were two steps involved in their spellcasting - the first was to compress their own Mana into magic aura and then using this magic aura to release the spell that they intended to release. This made it much harder for the Magicians at that time to advance their skills compared to the present where Magicians used wands to cast their spells.

Having read the three books, Link turned his attention to writing letters. He had two of them to write: the first was to Moira, where he would write down all the questions he had concerning the contents of the textbooks and the second was a letter to Eliard.

Eliard shared many similar interests with him, and their intelligence was on roughly the same level as well so Link enjoyed talking to him about anything. Link would write to Eliard often, regardless of whether there was anything important to inform him on. They would often discuss their thoughts and comments on subjects about magic, or they would only share news and gossip they had come across. Whatever it was, they both enjoyed hearing from each other very much.

Link would have a lot of free time while waiting for the replies to his letters and he would spend it by conducting enchantment experiments in his room based on the theoretical and practical knowledge that he had just gleaned from the books.

The most commonly used metal in enchantment was Mithril because it was highly conductive for Mana. By molding Mithril into different configurations through various methods, a stable and long-term Mana storage device could be built. And through changing the structure of Mithril, the structure of Mana could be altered too, enabling the casting of different spells.

Those were the theories, anyway. In practice, though, one had to pay attention to numerous other details that would eventually affect the outcome, which was why Link wanted to conduct these experiments.

He didn't have any Mithril on hand, but that was fine because he could get some of it by breaking the New Moon wand apart. Although the wand wasn't of the highest quality, it did contain a decent amount of Mithril. In fact, Link managed to obtain a pound of Mithril after dismantling the wand.

What a waste, the 1000 gold coins' price was all spent on the Mithril in the wand. Was this supposed to be crafted by a master wandmaker? thought Link. He wondered if the wandmaker's reputation had been grossly exaggerated.

Once he'd obtained the Mithril, Link spent 20 Omni Points to purchase a transformation spell necessary for enchantment - Shapeshifter.

Shapeshifter

Level-2 Spell

Mana Consumption: 0.2 points per second

Effects: Once cast on a certain object, the object's physical shape will alter and change according to the spellcaster's wishes.

(Note: This is a necessary spell for low-level enchantments.)

After quickly learning this spell, Link immediately used it on the Mithril on the table.

The spell didn't require any special Mana focusing skills, so even a Magician's Apprentices' spellcasting skills were sufficient. As the Mana in Link's body got agitated and was arranged into a specific spell structure, a special force field would emerge.

This force field was almost invisible. If it didn't slightly bend the light that passed through it where it was concentrated in the palm of Link's hand, he wouldn't have noticed its existence at all.

Link knew that the force was known in transformation spells as the 'Higgs Force Field'.

This force field was discovered by a Magician called Higgs more than six hundred years ago and he was also the one who pioneered the field of transformation spells. His discovery had changed the enchantment skills from something that only high-level Magicians could do to something any average Magician could easily learn.

The Higgs Force Field had a strange property where it could transform any non-living objects' shape and properties. As long as your skill was developed enough, you could change metal to water, or even stone to gold.

But of course, the skills that were needed were very, very difficult to develop, and there was also another constraint - the huge Mana consumption rate.

The more properties of the object that was to be transformed, the higher the Mana consumption rate. For example, the ability to transform rock into gold at first glance might seem like an enticing idea that would enable one's fortune to grow infinitely. But in fact, it would take all of the Mana that a Level-6 Magician possessed just to transform a palm-sized cobblestone into gold of the same size and weight.

Nothing could be more precious to a Magician than his Mana, so no Magician in their right mind would ever waste all of their Mana for a mere palm-sized lump of gold. And so, no Magician has ever bothered to learn to transform rocks into gold.

As the adage went, there was no such thing as a free lunch in this world.

Now back to Link.

Link guided the transparent force field with his mind to wrap around the thumb-sized pile of Mithril on the table. Then he imagined the structure of the spell, Glass Orb in his head.

Link possessed an especially active imagination, so he could easily visualize things in his mind down to their smallest details. This skill worked in his favor when learning enchantment.

The pile of Mithril started to move and began to form into threads. The threads turned into magic runes and finally it transformed into a solid body of Mana structure, precisely the way Link visualized it in his mind.

About three minutes later, a shiny ball of Mithril was formed. At a glance, the orb seemed to be a normal ball of metal with a hollow structure, but when examined closely, it was an exact replica of the spell structure of Glass Orb.

Of course, there was no Mana in the Mithril threads, so it was presently only a hollow structure that was not able to capture the fire elements in the air. In short, right now it was just a pretty thing to look at.

Let's see if it works. Link picked up the small Mithril ball and focused his Mana into it.

This process did not require high concentration. All Link had to do was to pour his Mana into the ball. He didn't need to visualize the spell's structure because the Mithril threads would automatically guide the Mana into the structure of the glass orb.

Moments later, Mana filled the whole of the Mithril ball. When closely examined, Link could see that the Mithril ball was starting to light up, became blue, and finally grew into a glowing blue orb.

It was now a perfect facsimile of Link's spell Glass Orb.

"What a time-saving way to cast a spell. It did come at a high cost, though," Link said with a sigh. The spell had cost him 1000 gold coins, even an ostentatious Magician wouldn't choose to use such an expensive technique.

This was a Mithril-based glass orb, with the Mithril threads already in the configuration of the spell structure of Link's Glass Orb. This way, any Magician in the world capable of manipulating the Mana in their body would be able to unleash Glass Orbs. All they had to do was direct their Mana into the Mithril ball.

But of course, this technique was just too expensive to be practical. Not only was its power pitiably small, it could also only be used once, so it was only useful in experiments.

There was a description of the basic structure of magic wands in Basic enchantments, I think I'll try and replicate that.

So Link got himself a wooden stick. He then cast the Shapeshifter spell on the Mithril threads to move and fit it onto the stick according to the spell structure shown in the textbook. After that, he put on some finishing touches and then Link had successfully created his first basic magic wand from scratch.

Link was examining the crude wand in his hand that was lined with Mithril when a notification popped on his interface.

Basic Wand (Unnamed)

Poor Quality

Effects: Increases the power of spells by 5%.

That's not too bad. Link didn't mind that the wand was of poor quality because he had only spent half an hour to make it.

He tried casting spells with the new wand and thought it felt very nice in his hand.

"Ha! Isn't this interesting!" exclaimed Link, amused at how surprisingly good the wand was.

He successfully cast two more spells with the new wand. Now Link's interest towards enchantments deepened considerably. He remembered a chapter in Basic enchantment about the creation of magic scrolls.

Magic scrolls used special Mana-conductive ink. It involved the process of transferring the structure of spells onto a two-dimensional surface of an anti-magic sheet of paper. The advantages of magic scrolls were that it was portable and cost-effective, and if Mana and activating magic runes were fixed onto the scrolls too, even laypeople could use them to cast spells.

Link wanted to try creating a magic scroll, but he didn't have any materials that were required. He didn't let that stop him though.

What to do when there was no Mana-conductive ink?

No problem. The source of magic-conductive ink was the blood of magical beings, and Magicians were one of those magical beings, so the blood of a Magician could be used as a substitute for Mana-conductive ink. The more powerful the Magician, the more effective their blood would be as Mana-conductive ink.

Without any reservation at all, Link took a few drops of blood from his own body.

But what about anti-magic paper? Well, in fact, goatskin paper was the most basic and the most common type of anti-magic paper, so Link had that covered too.

Now that he had all the materials he needed, Link dipped the quill into his own blood and then sketched the spell structure of Fireball onto the goatskin paper.

Link's ability to accurately imagine a structure worked in his favor in recreating the spell structure of Fireball in one smooth stroke onto the goatskin paper. He then incorporated the necessary activating magic runes and poured his Mana onto the scrolls.

Immediately, the blood-red ink on the goatskin paper emitted a magic aura, but because of the restrictions of the activating runes, the scroll did not absorb fire elements in the air, so no Fireball was formed.

Link wanted to test the effects of the scroll right away.

He activated the magic scroll according to the method in the books, which was to wipe away the activating runes and then hurl the scroll into the air.

The scroll absorbed and attracted fire elements in the air, then it started to catch fire and burst into a ball of flame. Because of the very simple spell structure and because the scroll was made with crude materials, the Fireball did not have much explosive power. But all in all, Link considered it a success.

"How fascinating!" Link's interest on enchantment grew even stronger now.

Soon after, letters for him arrived from the academy. He opened and read the one from Eliard first before carefully going through Moira's letter, where she had given him very clear and detailed answers to his questions. Along with the letters, Moira had also sent him three new textbooks: Wand Construction, Advanced Enchantment Skills, and Cutting-Edge Applications of the Higgs Force Field.

Link rejoiced at the titles of these books; he couldn't feel happier if he had been sent precious gemstones. After skimming through Wand Construction, he vowed that he was going to create a new wand for himself!